I had com-plete-ly forgotten about this show until a friend sent me a reminder, via this delectable Retronaut roundup of early '80s fitness LPs. (Thank you, Darren!) I remember seeing the odd occasional promo for the half-hour kids' fitness show on the Disney Channel, but it only aired at an hour that was ungodly for me even at age 7, like 6 a.m. or something. Maybe Disney execs figured the most hyper kids would be awake then? Beats me.
Anyway, I don't think I ever caught more than the last 5 minutes of "Mousercize," but it intrigued me even then. Working out with Mickey Mouse? Would the exercises be mouse-like in any real way? Would they be based on scenes from Disney films? Perhaps some housecleaning-type action like Snow White during "Whistle While You Work"? Or maybe some waltzing like Sleeping Beauty during "Once Upon a Dream"? Or some light parkour a la the opening number in Aladdin? These were the secrets The Disney Channel kept for the 6 a.m. hour, it seemed.
Before we move on, can we just get an Amen for this hostess lady's workoutfit? Because seriously.
So apparently Mickey and Minnie make an appearance during the earliest part of the warm-up, figurehead-like, and then check out when the real work starts. Whatever, they're old.
The warm-up includes mousey activities like "looking for cheese" and "finding some cheese" and "nibbling on the cheese." The presenter lady (I just Wiki'd her name: It's Kellyn Plasschaert) has a tendency to shout, but maybe some kids like that? I don't think this girl appreciated it:
After the warm-up come the JAMS, the first of which starts off like a rip-off of Toni Basil's "Mickey," which would have been appropriate enough, but I guess early Disney Channel couldn't spring for the rights, so they rehashed it into a Mousercize song. Kellyn takes the kids through moves like the Pony, the Twist and whatever it's called when you act like you're swimming while holding your nose -- all stuff any wee sugar addict would love early in the morning.
Then, Donald Duck stops by to show all the young ones that, as the song says, "Ducks Dance Too." And how! It's pretty freaking amazing. Apparently, ducks dance something very similar to The Freddie from Troop Beverly Hills. The Freddie! Forgot about that, too.
It all gets sillier and more frantic, almost frighteningly so when Donald lays down a legit quack attack at the height of his number. But hey, no one said getting kids' willies out was easy or soothing.
I do object to this lady tryna get kids to do crunches. Kids do plenty of crunches all by theyselves without realizing it. Try to get them to think about it, and they'll do just like the poor girl in the purple leotard who jerks her neck up with her hands in a most unsafe manner. Don't project your core-strengthening issues onto innocent children, Kellyn!
At the end, we get to see a little skit where Goofy attempts, as he always does, to go swimming. Poor Goofy. Always getting bottom billing and bad jokes. (Towel boy to Goofy: "Goofy, I'm throwin' in the towel.")
I'm so happy to finally get to see an entire episode of "Mousercize." Maybe I'll go totally full circle, don my most '80s-looking leotard and some pigtails and actually, sincerely Mousercize. You can be damn sure I'ma do the Freddie.